POMPEY POP


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Yogi Bear came too

Here’s an (unnamed) member of the Tremors appearing at the Regal Cinema on Hayling Island – I guess from the jacket, the guitar and the low-slung style, around 1960(?)

It was provided by Stewart Ward – later of the Soul Society – whose parents ran the cinema


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Be sure to wear some flowers …

A few months before they played at Woodstock, this version of Country Joe & the Fish played our Pier – and a great night it was. They were the only one of the original San Francisco psychedelic bands to play in Pompey (although Jefferson Airplane played the IOW).

Over the past ten years, four of the five members of the original recording version of the band (Electric Music …/ Fixin’ to Day …) have appeared again at the Pier but lead guitarist Barry Melton never came (it’s a long story). Now my good friend John Roberts who promoted the recent gigs has secured Barry at South Parade Pier on Monday 26 July. With him will be David & LInda of It’s A Beautiful Day (“White Bird”) and I’m very pleased to be doing a one-off support with some/all of my old mates from Reet Petite & Gone.


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The Dance Band Days

I’ve just received a collection of photos from Ken Howell who has been performing since the 1950s and I believe still plays. I need to talk to Ken about these delightful pictures to find out more details. I’m not sure if it’s the Ken Howell Band although I did recognise drummer Arthur Ward and I wonder where this is. If it’s Pompey, might it be the Pier – does anyone know? (There’s another picture on the Flickr account).


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One Rival

The Rivals were an early 60s Pompey group with Rod Watts on lead guitar. After they split, Gren Mayes (above) who had been a fan, took up the name and for more than 40 years has been the lead singer in various incarnations of the Rivals – these days as a solo act. More pictures of the old band on the Flickr site


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Remembering Rosemary

Steve Timms who now lives in the midlands recently sent a delightful email with memories of my band Rosemary (1969/70). It was a lovely band so I’m resisting modesty and printing some extracts:

“I attended many of Rosemary’s gigs in the late 60s, usually with my best mate Ray Stemp and others – mainly at the Oasis club in North End and then others, one at St James Church Hall which we found eventually. The two that stick in my memory most was the gig at Waterlooville, organised by the Windsor Hell’s Angels with the Edgar Broughton band also on the bill. The local police ringed the area expecting trouble and actually it was a great night! Actually the tickets for the Angels gig were set and printed secretly at our works (The Dringport Press) on an old Adana hand printer, I wish I had kept one! (see above Steve)

The other was a pub gig in Wickham when we (fans) all arrived expecting another great gig, until the Landlord took one look at us hairy lot and promptly cancelled it! Undaunted, a chap with us had a flat in or near Wickham so he invited us all back, you and the band included for an impromptu party. He was a brother of a guy that worked with us, an artist of sorts maybe design. He had his flat decorated like an Egyptian tomb if my memory is still working.

Back to the Oasis gigs, remember the chap who I think ran those Friday nights, always wore a black suit and looked a little like Clement Freud, and often berating us all about smoking dope in the toilets, happy daze!!”


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Swinging 60s Movie

Portsmouth Film Society
Omega Centre, Omega Street
Free Parking

Wednesday 19 May: MATINÉE at 2.30

IT’S ALL OVER TOWN (1963)

It’s a helter-skelter musical romp around town with Lance Percival and his friend William Rushton. They call at Covent Garden, with The Springfields and The Hollies… Then to Embankment, where Frankie Vaughan twists among the girls… to the pubs, where Mr. Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band pound out their best… and all over town – wherever the music is playing!

This gem of a film from a golden era of pop and British cinema will be introduced by the University’s Dr. Dave Allen who has been curating the local part of the 60s Museum show.

Dave will be speaking about popular music, popular stars, personal memory and local history in Portsmouth.

Talk starts at 2:30pm

Film running time 66 minutes


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The TALISMEN

I’m grateful to Mick Reeve, vocalist with the Talismen who’s provided a range of items – I’ll be putting some more on the Flickr site. The group won this competition in front of 3000 fans at Wimbledon Palais and it was covered with a large colour photo in the Record Mirror. They won a Decca recording contract, although sadly fame & fortune did not follow. Mick eventually spent a number of years singing with the Arthur Ward Band locally, including Clarence Pier and Sinah Warren.


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On the Pier

Here’s the back of the programme for late August 1953. My pal Brian gave it to me at the Rose Bowl last week which prompts me to add that this was just a week after England beat Australia at the Oval to win the Ashes for the first time since the War. Peter Sellers returns to his home town and there are all kinds of attractions. I was very young then but living in Southsea and I do remember the Wednesday night fireworks and the Marionettes. Sadly I never danced to Wally Fry and his Collegians who were residents for a long while. If you want to read the details, click on the image